Posts Tagged ‘pilots’

Protected: LRC à la carte II: Choose from our start-of-term class inductions

2014/07/15 Enter your password to view comments.

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Protected: LRC Clinic designs a remedial package for Germ1202 using MyLanguageLab

2013/09/04 Enter your password to view comments.

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A classroom-management-system-based emporium to improve tutoring support for Hybrid Spanish students

  1. [T]o bridge the gap between students’ demand for introductory Spanish courses and adequately staffing”, UNC-Charlotte – using, among others, a UNC-Chapel Hill pilot as a model, which, however, served a different student population and was soon faded out again – introduced a hybrid model for 1st year Spanish:
  2. Weekly contact hours were cut in half (effectively doubling student numbers per teacher ) ,
  3. and attempted to be replaced by more extensive assignment of homework exercises/quizzes from the online textbook component
    1. for lack of own technical resources (p.54), not that the components were designed for a hybrid purpose – but always nice to see language teachers adopt technology for ROI in creative ways when they have to.
    2. for the same reason of incapability of “adequately staffing”, so that teachers do not have to operate the computers, only those activities from the  online components were chosen that could be automatically graded (while the continued reliance of online quizzes on right/wrong black/white schemes instead of at least considering editing distance (maybe reasonably also for foreign language diacritics), not to mention attempts on a truly semantic understanding of student input, makes one wonder if this subset of assignments could effectively and should be left to auto grading).
  4. and other, auxiliary syllabus guidelines, like:
    1. taking more advantage of the online textbook component for
      1. heavier formative testing
      2. outcome testing
    2. requiring “oral testing administered two or three times a semester” (p.46, 64)
    3. increased focus on taking advantage of contact hours by communicating, what is now often deemed flipped classroom pedagogy and used to be called homework preparation
  5. tutoring,  for students that could not handle the cut in face-to-face time with teacher (note, tutors were from the grad student teacher pool – not all teachers were grad students)
    1. face-to-face:
    2. online, during off-hours (weekends):
      1. seems a welcome extension, and a convenient time-saver
      2. however,  little adoption
      3. additionally, hindered by a technology change from Wimba to Centra.
    3. also hybrid? The LRC
      1. could be host to an emporium like Virginia Tech’s: computerized for access to online assignments, but under tutor guidance;
      2. could provide the Sanako classroom management and digital audio lab system for making this learning experience even ore efficient. The tutor on teacher station can monitor many students (simultaneously or automatically cycling through student stations at an interval of choice, while stopping interactively where desired) via screen sharing. Interact with any student computer via remote control, with the student over headphones, without disrupting,
      3. easily escalate presentation of tutor or model student screen and audio discussion of endemic problems to either student group as a whole or subset (meaningful as long as 2 or more students overlap in their assignment activity and have similar issues) via the Sanako – and of course also use the classroom projector.
  6. Hybrid Spanish clearly constitutes a radical program change, dictated by shortness of funds and requiring measures to efficiency and effectiveness of instruction, upholding of standards, and management of attrition.

A template for Digital audio lab model-imitation/question-response oral exams

Successful test of the new streaming video recording assignment for language proficiency assessment in Moodle.

2011/07/20 1 comment
  1. Video recordings allow for a more authentic assessment of spoken language proficiency. Today, we could test a new Moodle video assignment type for Almut’s Summer II Elementary German II class: Preparing a natural sounding statement on one’s favorite holiday. This Moodle assignment type is an extension to students of the teacher video upload tool using a service Kaltura – we hinted at that earlier.
  2. Teachers, when editing their Moodle course,  can find this assignment type in the dropdown: Activity as “Video”. dropwdown-activity
  3. The assignment options: Note that creating a video assignment is pretty much the same as creating other assignments in Moodle, and so is grading, except instead of reading, you view the submission, right within the web page.  kaltura-assignment-options
  4. An example of guiding questions for a recording assignment is here (topic: holiday, language: German): moodle-video-assignment-guiding-questions
  5. Here is how the teacher sees the student submission in the gradebook.
  6. kaltura (1)
  7. teacher-grading-roster-CIMG0021
  8. Caveat: in Safari, we were not able to close the video popup, after viewing it from the class roster, and could only back out of the entire gradebook. Instead, from the roster, first open the page with the individual student submission, and review the video there on that page:
  9. teacher-grading-CIMG0027
  10. For the student experience, see here.
  11. Further reading: The CTL has a number of step-by-step instructions which we recommend for further reading: Student Video Assignment, and specifically for students: Upload a Video for a Video Assignment; for instructors: Grading Video Assignment Submissions.
  12. The LRC had originally prepared to record the students with our old, handheld mini-DV cameras, import the movie into iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, then find a way to get the files (with easily identifiable submitter names) to the teachers. Hitherto, our best option was compression of the video to to fit into the Moodle 64MB file upload size limit  (which, even if you decide to shoot and produce your video elsewhere and bring it as an uploadable  file to the assignment , does not apply to the Video assignment either).
  13. Preliminary testing seems to indicate that video recording of pairs/dialogues is also possible with the LRC’s webcam setup . However, because of the angle restrictions, capturing such sessions will be less natural.
  14. Overall, the new Moodle video assignment seems a major improvement for  all parties – students, teachers and support –, and can help with more authentic assessment of

How to design a classroom layout in Sony Virtuoso, and reflect it in the Sony Soloist

Teachers using a fully computerized classroom –  as well as the installed language learning software itself (which, once set up, will help further by displaying the names of the students logged in on the student computers), – need to have an easy way to identify and address individual student computers.

Sony Virtuoso/Soloist, like the Sanako Lab 300, use an identification scheme which based on manual numberin of te student computers.

This requires the administrator to manually make a configuration change on each student computer when the software is first installed (and whenever the classroom is reimaged with upgrades).

Newer classroom mangement and langauge learning systems like NetOp SChool or Sanako Study can autonumber and –identify connected student computers.

To set up the student computers, start the Soloist from the desktop icon.

Press ctrl – shift –f10 to access the configuration dialogues. On tab: teacher control, sony-soloist-seat-number

in the text input field Seat number highlighted red above, put the number that corresponds to the attached seating map below.


NOTE: the seats in the center bottom forming a dent in the layout are intentionally left blank for he presenter computer and PC32.

The square in the upper right are the leftmost (teacher perspective) computers in our main lab – they would not fit better into the lab layout grid of the Sony Virtuoso Apprentice (higher versions have more flexible layout grids, I hear).